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Sunderland, Leeds and Wembley 1973. Part 7: when (nearly) all the world loved us

From an old birthday card sent to Monsieur Salut

Memories keep flooding back. If you’re old enough, they are your own, If not, you’ve had them handed down. Even Sunderland supporters well under 40 have a clear notion of what is must have been like – what it was like – 40 years ago today, Ken Gambles, from the first category, offers his own […]

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Gambles’ Rambles: referees, inconsistency and final hooters to call time

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Ken Gambles came up with one the ideas of 2011, the mandatory wearing of bright pink mittens by shirt-pullers and goggles by divers. Sadly, no manufacturer could be found to guarantee keeping up with the likely demand and members of the National Union of Football Divers, Shirt-Pullers and Injury-Feigners besieged Parliament in their thousands. Now, […]

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Gambles rambles: reasons to be cheerful


It is a constant moan from many of us who have been watching football for decades that “fings ain’t wot they used to be” but Ken Gambles reminds us that there are still friendships to be formed and fun to be had whoever you support. I must admit that the recent (now resolved) faux-pas by […]

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Grounds for divorce: Everton, Leeds and West Ham share the dishonours

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Ken Gambles gets around. Sunderland support has taken him all over the country. Worst ground, offering grounds for divorce after a lifelong love affair with football? The old Den probably took the biscuit for Monsieur Salut – a demoralising experience that had you questioning your own sanity for being there – and if we are […]

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SAFC v Republic of Ireland: an unforgettable night with Niall, minus Keane

Beauty of Sunderland: Mrs Logic

In the latest edition of Gambles’ Rambles, our regular contributor Ken Gambles pondered the worthy title ‘a reflective narrative on the role of altruism in a capitalist hegemony’ before deciding: ‘Nah, just a memory of Quinny’s testimonial.’ Monsieur Salut remembers it, too, as the game for which he bought a ticket knowing he had no […]

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Gambles’ Rambles: West Ham clearcut enough, but resolve the playoff follies

Ken Gambles: bringing more positivity to the SoL

Not really an end-of-term review, though it starts that way, so the morning after more playoff games seems as good a time as any to throw open the Salut! Sunderland floor once again to Ken Gambles. It also gives readers another chance to stand up for, or slag off, West Ham: my wager is they’ll […]

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Gambles’ Rambles: recalling another spelling test Harry Redknapp, aged 2+, failed

Ken Gambles: bringing more positivity to the SoL

It was while waiting to be released from the Riverside after a hard-fought but deserved win against the Boro that Ken Gambles learned, thanks to the scoreboard, that Fabio Capello had resigned. It set him thinking … (more…)

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How to end gamesmanship and cheating: pink mittens and goggles

Ken Gambles*, a stalwart of the North Yorkshire branch of the Sunderland AFC Supporters’ Association, casts a whimsical eye over footballers’ habits he’d go to unusual lengths to stamp out … Despite being a traditionalist. I amazed myself at how quickly I came to adapt to the back-pass law, penalty shoot-outs and even Sky’s razzmatazz. […]

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Wolves and Cardiff, then Fulham and Villa. Then pick two from three (or four?) (or five?)

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Yesterday you might have seen how I – or rather our readers – came to select a number of clubs […]

Wolves, Cardiff, Bristol, Derby and Sheffield United join Middlesbrough, Villa and Fulham as our ones to watch

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Let’s go back to the start of the season (and don’t we wish we could). I polled our readers as […]

Sunderland: a tragic tale of lost love, disconnect and rebuilding from scratch

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Monsieur Salut is left at a loose end, feeling a little redundant with no need to post a Guess the […]

Sixer’s Soapbox: Preston comfortable as Sunderland freezes

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John McCormick writes: I won’t be going to the North East before June, so I won’t be seeing any home […]

Sixer’s Sevens: Preston benefit from this week’s press of the self-destruct button

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John McCormick writes: The darkness began to descend early in the second half at the Stadium of Light, and that […]

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Preston North End and a trip back in time

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John McCormick writes: Tuesday morning, and I’m idly contemplating the weekend and Pete Sixsmith’s “first time” feature which will announce […]